THE woman behind an annual art exhibition held in aid of cancer patients is on a ‘personal mission’ to make sure this year’s event will still go ahead – after her daughter was diagnosed with the disease.

Alison Donnell has repackaged the display, which raises money for the Beatson Cancer Charity, to run it online as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place across Scotland.

Alison’s daughter Gillian was diagnosed with cervical cancer last April.

“Gillian was a fit and healthy young woman who loved horse-riding,” explained Alison, who runs The Studio Fine Art Company.

“Her planned wedding this year to her fiancé Alan, who works for the NHS, was postponed as sadly they were facing an unknown future.

“Gillian’s business and equestrian interests came to an abrupt end.”

Read more: Bishopbriggs student's family take on charity walk after her death

She added: “Apart from the cancer itself, the consequences of this diagnosis were almost too much for her to bear. However, the kindness and support given to Gillian by the Beatson Cancer Charity during her subsequent treatment and several hospital stays made a very difficult time more bearable.

“One year on and Gillian’s journey is not over yet, but knowing Beatson Cancer Charity are there for her every step of the way has meant so much to her. I will be forever grateful to them – I hope people will support the online exhibition.”

Gillian is now taking steps to return to working with her beloved horses and gaining her equestrian teaching qualifications.

This year’s exhibition, which includes free delivery, includes works by Peter Howson and Gerard Burns.

Sales help support the way cancer care is funded and delivered at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

Read more: Docs told me I had arthritis at 19 - then discovered a tumour the size of a grapefruit

Morag Cunningham, Beatson Cancer Charity Director of Fundraising said: “This has become a personal mission for Gillian’s mother.

“The event has become a significant date in our annual events calendar, but this year has become extra special.

“It has brought home that cancer can affect any one of us at any time.”

Prices for the artworks start at £95. More details are available on the Beatson Cancer Charity’s website.